Skip to menu Skip to content Skip to footer
A group of students having a meeting

Cooperative Research Centres (CRCs)

Cooperative Research Centres (CRCs)

Cooperative Research Centres (CRCs) are large-scale, flagship industry-based research centres that aim to solve industry-identified problems. 

Overseen by AusIndustry within the Commonwealth Department of Industry, Science and Resources, the CRC Program provides grant funding to support industry-led collaborative research partnerships between at least one Australian industry entity and one Australian research organisation. The program provides medium- to long-term collaborations with matched funding to improve the competitiveness, productivity and sustainability of Australian industries.

UQ has a strong history of participation in the CRC Program since its inception in 1991. Our researchers are currently involved in 14 CRCs nationally, involving 220 industry partners and $600 million of grant funding. UQ has been involved in 221 CRCs since the program began, delivering $4.6 billion in research funding across a range of industries. 

Two staff working together in a commercial greenhouse

Impact on industry

CRCs have a transformational impact on industry.

Boost innovation and productivity

Long-term, targeted investment from industry, academia and government partners enable industries to become more competitive and sustainable.

Ongoing return on investment

Partners receive a robust return on investment and ongoing quality collaboration between industry and research organisations.

Enhance the research workforce

Strengthening the capability of the research workforce can future-proof industries for the long-term.

UQ CRC participation

From marine bioproducts to autonomous systems, transport and mobility, transformations in mining economies and more – UQ is involved in a number of national CRCs that are revolutionising key Australian industries. Companies involved in these programs range from global conglomerates to emerging start-ups. Find out more about our existing UQ-led or partnered CRC programs below.

Sunset over crop

Zero Net Emissions from Agriculture

The UQ-led Zero Net Emissions from Agriculture Cooperative Research Centre (ZNE-Ag CRC) aims to catalyse industry, community and government action to achieve Zero Net Emissions from agriculture from 2040, and below zero net emissions by 2050. Agriculture directly contributes to 14% of Australia’s national emissions. The CRC's goal is to ensure Australia’s agricultural industries keep growing, while they simultaneously achieve ZNE by 2040 and exceed international emissions reduction targets by 2050.

Emissions reduction is often seen as a cost burden that creates a trade off against economic imperatives that drive productivity, profitability, growth and asset building – perceived as a win-lose situation. The ZNE-Ag CRC approach will harness and coordinate opportunities to create win-win through rapid research, development and adoption of science and technology-led solutions, driven by industry and government partners.

Plastic bottles

Solving Plastic Waste

The Solving Plastic Waste CRC is focused on designing out plastic waste, supporting the transitions of companies in Australia’s plastics value chain to a circular and climate neutral plastic economy by 2030, and growing advanced manufacturing. The plastic value chain is fundamental to advanced manufacturing, packaging, food and groceries, as well as the waste and resource recovery sector. Through its activities, the CRC will contribute to the global competitiveness, productivity, and sustainability of Australian industry.

It will deliver new jobs, skills and regional solutions by growing sustainable businesses and new markets, whilst creating a valuable circular economy for plastics resulting in a cleaner and safer environment. Additionally, the CRC will play a critical role in providing all levels of government with independent evidence-based advice necessary to establish the regulatory and commercial environment for a circular economy.

Two people walking on a mine site wearing high-vis and hard hats. Heavy machinery operates in the background.

CRC TiME: Transformations in Mining Economies

The Cooperative Research Centre for Transformations in Mining Economies (CRC TiME) brings scale and coordinated investment into innovative research that addresses the complex challenges underpinning mine closure and relinquishment.

CRC TiME is part of the Australian Government’s world-leading Cooperative Research Centre Program, operating with the support of the Commonwealth and more than 75 partners, hosted by The University of Queensland and the University of Western Australia. Through CRC TiME, Australia is leading the world to drive transformational change in the mine closure sector, building trust between mining companies, regulators and communities.

Computer banks and a meeting room at UQ Cyber Hub.

Trusted Autonomous Systems

Trusted Autonomous Systems (TAS) is Australia’s first defence Cooperative Research Centre. This CRC delivers research into world-leading autonomous and robotic technologies to enable trusted and effective cooperation between humans and machines.

Trusted Autonomous Systems, together with its participants and the Department of Defence, is developing the capacity of Australia’s defence industry to acquire, deploy, and sustain the advanced autonomous and robotic technology by delivering world-leading autonomous and robotic Defence technologies and building innovative IP through targeted research and technology programs.

Large truck on a highway

iMOVE Australia

iMOVE is the national centre for transport and mobility R&D in Australia that aims to create multi-party collaborations that improve the sustainable movement of people and goods using technology and data. 

This Cooperative Research Centre is funded by the Federal Government and industry and research partners over a 10-year period to tackle transport-related challenges and collaboratively improve transport systems for people and freight nationally.

Robotic arms of advanced manufacturing

Australian Composite Manufacturing CRC

The Australian Composite Manufacturing CRC aims to transform Australia’s established composite technologies capability into sovereign leadership, creating a world-class, highly automated, digitally-enabled, network of designers, manufacturers and service providers. 

Recognising the critical role of engineering excellence, intelligent automation and advanced technology implementation in accessing an international industry valued at $100 billion, SoMAC will underpin the next generation of manufacturing in Australia. SoMAC brings together 33 partners in a $250 million program under Australia’s Cooperative Research Centres program.

Seedlings growing


Australia's Cooperative Research Centre for Solving Antimicrobial Resistance in Agribusiness, Food and Environments (SAAFE) brings together forward-thinking industries with leading research organisations and government agencies committed to protecting Australia’s food and agribusiness industries, and the environments in which they operate, from the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

Working with more than 70 partner organisations that represent diverse areas ranging from viticulture, aquaculture and horticulture, to the water, organic waste, stockfeed and animal industries, SAAFE will, by 2033, invest more than $150M into collaborative research to mitigate AMR, helping partners develop, share and implement solutions. It aims to tackle AMR at source across a diverse and complex range of systems and environments.

Marine life in a coral reef

Marine Bioproducts

Marine Bioproducts is Australia’s largest R&D hub dedicated to producing new and sustainable products from the marine environment. This CRC brings together more than 70 partners from academia and industry to support collaborative work in four key spaces over 10 years:

  • Establishing pathways from biomarine discovery to markets in health, nutrition, agriculture, aquaculture and biomaterials
  • Creating and expanding sustainable marine bioresource production facilities
  • The integration of marine science and biotechnology with industries in Australia and overseas
  • Creating industry-ready graduates focused on taking discoveries out of the lab and into the economy
Ocean clouds and satellite seen from space

SmartSat CRC

The SmartSat CRC is a consortium of universities and other research organisations, partnered with industry that has been funded by the Australian Government to develop know-how and technologies in advanced telecommunications and IoT connectivity, intelligent satellite systems and Earth observation next generation data services. The impact of this research will be to develop intellectual property and a specialist industry expertise that will spawn new businesses, create export economic value and generate new high-tech jobs for all Australians.

Ocean swell

Blue Economy

The Blue Economy CRC was established to undertake industry-focused research and training to support the growth of the Blue Economy with a focus on two new, emerging, and transitioning ocean industries for Australia: offshore aquaculture and renewable energy production.

With a 10-year life, the Blue Economy CRC brings together 44 industry, government and research partners from ten countries with expertise in aquaculture, marine renewable energy, maritime engineering, environmental assessments and policy and regulation.

Cotton field

Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia (CRCNA)

The Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia (CRCNA) is investing $75m of Commonwealth funds over ten years to support industry-led co-funded research collaborations, disseminate research outcomes and ensure decision-makers have a strong evidence base to plan future investment for Northern Australia. 

This investment in research and development will develop a responsive, useful and utilised evidence-base to drive and support the long-term, sustainable economic development of Northern Australia.

A bunch of carrots that are not uniform in size.

End Food Waste

The End Food Waste CRC brings together industry, research, and the community to improve the competitiveness, productivity and sustainability of the Australian food industry.

The strategies generated by End Food Waste CRC are built on fundamental research conducted by Australia’s key industry personnel. These strategies are designed to synergise both research and delivery, with a focus on reducing supply chain losses, transforming waste resources and further developing educational and behaviour methods

By providing ongoing research and development, core strategies and infrastructures, this CRC delivers evidence-based solutions to food-chain enterprises, working toward a more sustainable future from paddock to plate.

A person tracks health on a smartwatch

Digital Health

The Digital Health CRC harnesses the power of data and digital technologies to improve health outcomes, increase efficiency in health and aged care delivery, and grow a competitive digital health industry for Australia.

It connects the technology industry, the health sector and academia to invest in collaborative R&D, targeted commercialisation and workforce capacity building programs. The Digital Health CRC is co-funded through the Commonwealth Government’s Cooperative Research Program, and by participant organisations.

Blue light of a gas cooktop

Future Fuels

Future Fuels Cooperative Research Centre is the industry-focused Research, Development & Demonstration (RD&D) partnership enabling the decarbonisation of Australia’s energy networks.

It works with partners in a collaborative and connected research community embracing industry, academia and government to focus on the future of a crucial sector of the Australian energy economy and deliver the full potential of low-carbon fuels in the energy supply mix. Research areas include future fuel technologies, systems and markets; social acceptance, public safety and security of supply; and network lifecycle management.

Tools for researchers

Are you a researcher looking for more information on putting together a CRC bid? Learn more about the UQ CRC Program process.

Partner with us

Keen to know more or have an idea for a CRC? Contact the Strategic Partnerships office.

Michelle Claxton
Research Networks Coordinator

Two people chatting as the walk down a staircase.

Research stories

See our research in action, learn more about ongoing projects and read our success stories.

Two people walking on a mine site wearing high-vis and hard hats. Heavy machinery operates in the background.

Collaborating to unlock the value of mining transitions

A cooperative research centre bringing together more than 70 partners from the mining industry, government, communities and research is tackling the challenges and opportunities underpinning mine closures.
A deep sea fishing pen

A lightweight fish pen to move farms to deeper seas

A cost effective yet robust pen developed through a cooperative research centre could expand fish farming into deeper ocean areas to help feed the growing global population.
Sunrise over agricultural scene

Net zero emissions from Australian agriculture: a challenge and opportunity

An ambitious alliance to achieve zero net emissions in Australian agriculture and boost the $70 billion sector has been funded by the Federal Government.